Ossus Library Index Drama Movie Index

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
THE CONTINUING STORY

Directed by Stefan Scaini (2000, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
Starring Megan Follows, Jonathan Crombie, and Cameron Daddo

Anne follows Gilbert to New York, and then to Europe after their wedding, as he goes missing from the red cross in the war.

View Count: Twice

 

 

3 stars+

January 3rd, 2003 on DVD

 
   

Although I liked this installment much better than I did the first time, I still thought it was way too serious to be Anne of Green Gables.

The movie was definitely well written, and well acted. I suppose the only thing that I disagree with is the decision to set it during the war. Kevin Sullivan is for some reason bent on making his work chronologically, so that he cannot revisit what has happened in the past. He ended Road to Avonlea because it was approaching the time of the war. Anne 3 picks up right where that, and the movie Merry Christmas, Mrs. King, left off. I think he could have easily placed this movie soon after the second one, even if Mirella had died in the TV series (and the actress in real life).

Given the situation, however, what we were shown was well made. Normally, Anne of Green Gables is about how Anne changes the world. Here, she was simply swept up in the world, and we see how the world changes her. It is not a bad thing, by any means, but it does not have the cheerfulness and silliness that permeated the first and second installments. Anne has grown up, but as much as she still falls on her face, she doesn't know how to get into trouble without realizing it anymore -not silly trouble, anyway. She gets plenty of trouble during the movie.

So what we get is not what I would have put Anne through, but was still very well done, regardless. It was a real World War I movie, similar to Young Indiana Jones. The first part was not so boring as I remembered it, as much of it actually did take place on Prince Edward Island.

Seeing the movie on DVD for the first time, I was impressed with the number of extra features, compared with the first two releases, but that was quickly squashed by the quality.

The most interesting parts (which is not saying much) were the six or seven deleted scenes, including a great pair of Anne after Mirella died (presumably a flashback). The cast interviews were mostly rehashed visuals from the movie, with barely any interview at all. The featurette on World War I also featured scenes from the movie, assembled to Kevin Sullivan's reading (fairly poorly) about code-breakers and the like. It is all way too fast to glean anything out of it in one shot. The special effects were mildly interesting, but would have been much more compelling if accompanied by commentary, instead of a written explanation. The trailer is way too long, showing the entire movie, including the ending! The other trailers, for the first two Anne movies were good, as usual, but the animated series looks dreadful, like a mix between Anne of Green Gables and Annie! Yuck! I have yet to watch the director's commentary, but it does exist.

 

 

3 stars

March 6th, 2000 on TV

 
   

The first hour was boring.  Period.  I did not enjoy Anne's travels in New York, nor do I think it was necessary, in order for her to meet Garrison.  The second part of the show was the wedding.  I think a whole hour could have been spent on that, but we got maybe ten minutes.  A chuckle when the tent falls on top of them was not enough to liven the situation.  It was only when Anne gets to France that things start to liven up.  But I would not call this Anne of Green Gables.  It was a good World War I drama, but not Anne. 

In the years between the last one and this installment, Anne has lost some of her charm.  She has lost her giggles, her incessant talking, and her blessed innocence.  I can forgive the last one, because she is older.  But she seems to have lost all creativity with it.  She doesn't have the energy she used to have, and I don't think that's right, even five years after Mirella's death.

In New York, Gilbert becomes disillusioned with the hospital when he discovers they prefer teaching over saving people's lives or comfort.  Anne gets disillusioned when the publishing company she works for tries to publish a book she co-wrote under the man's name.  The man who is in love with her, Jack Garrison.  So they return to Prince Edward Island, where Gilbert feels restless, because all the other men have gone overseas to fight in the War. 

I enjoy World War I dramas, as evidenced by my enjoyment of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.  And the story in part two is a very enjoyable two hours in France and London.  Anne comes across Garrison, and his son and lover.  But Garrison has to go back to the front.  Anne just barely misses Gilbert as a bomb explodes in the middle of the red cross camp.  They have to evacuate, but Garrison's lover has died.  Anne is left with the child.  In the next camp, she discovers Diana's husband Fred, and manages to get him shipped to London, where they stay in an apartment that Garrison had set up for his son.  Anne spends so much time with the child that we just know that she will end up keeping him. 

But the question remains, where is Gilbert?  Garrison contacts Anne, saying that he is trying to find Gill at the same time as he is doing his work.  She meanwhile gets a job at a local newspaper, and excels immediately, getting the front page column at least once.  But the editor is selling Garrison's codes to the enemy, and is looking for Garrison, who knows this.  He is after Garrison's child, probably to blackmail him. 

Anne departs to meet with Garrison's family in Belgium, where she gives up the child.  Garrison shows her a medical record signed by Gilbert, and they enter Germany as the Armistice is being signed.  Anarchy is reigning, but in a chance encounter with some fellow travelers, Anne gets up on stage to sing a happy/ sad song.  And there in the audience... is Gilbert.  Their eyes meet, and it is really a tearful moment as they are reunited. 

Garrison is killed by the newspaper editor's men on the way out of Germany, and his family doesn't want the child, so Anne and Gilbert adopt him.  It is really heartwarming to see Anne peek around the corner at the child at the train station, just as Mathew did so many years ago at her, an orphan herself.

But I disagree with the wedding scene.  It was just too short.  And Diana has turned into a rich whiner, until the end.  With her inheritance, it is never explained why she has to sell the house.  Perhaps it was just for the sanity of the family. 

After the first hour, I was ready to give the story a failing grade, but I wonder now if that was because it wasn't what I was expecting.  The second hour was better, and the third and fourth hours, if taken by themselves, would take four stars. 

Regardless, I think they should have spent much more time on the relationships between PEI friends, rather than developing a potential love interest for Anne, and keeping her separate from Gilbert for so long.  Rachel was wasted, as was a lot of the footage of Green Gables.  I would think that "starting over" would mean finishing up the job of restoring Green Gables, and starting a family there, not moving out of town.  The film tries to have some resolution regarding the house, but I think it fails to do it justice.

A good drama, but not true Anne.

 
   

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